Outdoor Weddings: Pros and Cons

1. Have a Backup Plan

This is the most important element to have in case something goes wrong with the weather or the location. Not having a backup plan can lead to chaos for your vendors and make your guests uneasy.

Discuss ALL possibilities with your wedding professionals before deciding on an outdoor event.

2. Bugs, Birds, & Bees

The three “B’s” can cause discomfort for many of your guests. Also consider dogs, cats, and other uninvited guests! Seagulls can especially be problematic with coastal locations.

3. Dirt

Having the reception near a dirt road? Brides need to be cautious when walking about because of the length of their train. Be especially careful when walking near pavement, stones, gravel or wood splinters.

4. Parking Distance

Please consider the distance that elderly people may have to walk to get to your reception/ Also make sure if you have handicapped guests that close parking is available to them.

5. Location

Many outdoor receptions are spread out so far that people at one end of the location are almost in the next county! At such a location, it is nearly impossible for all guests to be aware of what is going to happen. Try to have as many things as possible happen in one central location (head table, cake, dance area, bar, dance floor, disc jockey, etc.). Guests who stay away from a central area usually prefer to visit and talk in more private setting.

6. Noise Issues

Many outside locations have neighbors who call the police if they hear ANY noises from a party (music, people laughing loudly, glasses breaking on cement, car engines/doors, pin dropping, you know the type).

Some communities are strict with ordinances that include an unreasonably low music decibel level restriction for any type of entertainment function. Check with your local town or city hall to be sure what is allowed.

The neighbors could care less that it is your special day. We wouldn’t want to disturb anyone!

7. Adequate Shelter

You will need to make sure that you have adequate shelter for you and your guests. I have been at weddings where the tent is ripped in all of the wrong places. This can cause problems for those using electricity, or your guests if water seeps onto your dance floor.

A tent is NOT adequate shelter in the case of a lightning storm. Alert wedding professionals will urge you to suspend your event until the storm has passed. We do live in the lightning capital of the world. In the dry season, this is not as much of a concern as it is for the months of May through September.  Do not try to be a hero and tough it out in a lightning storm. On average, 90 people are killed every year in the U.S. by lightning.

ANY party is not worth your life, or mine. Be smart and stay alert if the Weather Service warns of possible bad weather!

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